Madeleine McCann case: Two callers name man in new UK police sketches
Credit: Reuters/Phil Noble LONDON | Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:53am BST LONDON (Reuters) – Britain could see widespread power blackouts during next year’s winter if a series of unforeseen events such as a cold snap or unplanned station outages occurs simultaneously, a report for an advisory body to the prime minister warned on Thursday. Britain’s power capacity margin, which is the production capacity available above demand levels, is expected to be dangerously low in the winter of 2014/15, an engineering report for the Council for Science and Technology said. Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem and network operator National Grid have also warned of shrinking margins and in response are creating tools aimed at reducing peak demand. “Although the electricity supply is expected to be sufficient to cover predicted levels of demand, it is likely to stretch the system close to its limits, notably during the winter of 2014-15, increasing the chances of power outages,” the Royal Academy of Engineering said in a statement accompanying its report. Over the coming year, Britain faces further closures of coal- and oil-fired power plants to comply with pollution laws. Additionally, several operators of gas-fired power stations have taken plants offline because high gas prices created losses for older facilities. The report said the government should speed up its electricity market reform (EMR) programme, which foresees paying generators of standby capacity to keep plants running. “Government will set the market conditions but it is private industry that will invest the necessary money,” said John Roberts, chair of the study’s working group. “Most of the energy companies operating in this country are international organisations that will invest in the UK only if it proves to be an attractive market.” The EMR is expected to be passed into law next year. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Dale Hudson)
UK postal union votes to strike at Royal Mail
Sri Lankan officials have welcomed Cameron’s decision to attend. “Public criticism doesn’t help anyone and plays into the hands of extremists forces. These issues are much better raised bilaterally,” one senior official told the Guardian this week. Human rights activists in Sri Lanka have accused Cameron of being naive. The principal charge made in the MPs’ report is that a timid and inconsistent approach has given the government no option but to attend the meeting in Colombo despite widespread reservations in Whitehall and elsewhere. The report notes that during discussions at the 2009 Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Port of Spain about venues for future meetings, the Foreign Office opposed a proposal that Sri Lanka might host the 2011 meeting on human rights grounds “but did not obstruct a proposal that it might do so in 2013; nor did it insist that Sri Lanka’s right to host in 2013 should be conditional on improvements in human rights.” Last year the committee, staffed by backbench MPs from all parties, recommended that Cameron “should publicly state his unwillingness to attend [the 2013 meeting] unless he receives convincing and independently verified evidence of substantial and sustainable improvements in human and political rights in Sri Lanka .” “There is scant evidence of progress in political and human rights in Sri Lanka,” the new report notes. The Foreign Office’s 2012 human rights and democracy report lists Sri Lanka as one of 27 countries of concern. Others include Afghanistan, China, Zimbabwe, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Russia and Belarus. Sri Lanka’s economy has grown by 6-7% annually in recent years. Tourist arrivals have risen significantly since the end of the war. Following pressure from the international community, Colombo held an election last month for a provincial council in the north, dominated by the Tamil minority. Despite significant economic development, there is widespread resentment among Tamils in northern towns such as Jaffna and Kilinochchi, the former headquarters of the violent separatist Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE).
UK could face power blackouts in winter 2014/15 – engineers
Markets open in 2 hrs 52 mins IRIS Acquires KashFlow to Extend its Position as the UK’s Premier Cloud and Desktop Software Provider for Accountants and SMEs Press Release: IRIS Software Group 6 minutes ago Print DATCHET, England, October 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — IRIS Software Group, an industry champion in accountancy and payroll solutions, is delighted to announce that it has agreed to acquire KashFlow, the cloud-based bookkeeping software developer, in a move that will extend its position as a leading cloud software and services provider for the UK’s 4.8 million small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and 30,000 accountancy firms. With a joint subscriber base of more than 60,000 accountancy firms and SMEs across the UK, the combined business leads the market in supplying cloud-based accountancy, payroll and bookkeeping solutions to SMEs and accountants. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. KashFlow is one of the UK’s most exciting and fastest-growing technology companies. Founded in 2006 by Duane Jackson, the award-winning company has pioneered the development and delivery of cloud-based bookkeeping software-as-a-service (SaaS) and is widely seen as a UK sector leader. The combination of IRIS and KashFlow is compelling, with a uniquely integrated offering: KashFlow will provide IRIS with significantly enhanced domain knowledge in the fast-growing cloud-based bookkeeping sector, whilst KashFlow will receive the benefit of IRIS’s powerful nationwide sales, marketing and support teams. This will enable it to bring its products to a far wider audience, including 30,000 SMEs that already use IRIS payroll solutions, and half of all UK accountancy practices that rely on IRIS every day to run their businesses. Phill Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of IRIS Software Group, said: “I am thrilled to announce that the KashFlow team will become part of the wider IRIS Software Group, since there is so much we can achieve together for the millions of SMEs who wrestle every day with their payroll, bookkeeping and accountancy needs. KashFlow’s superb cloud services are the perfect fit with our existing suite of products and I am confident that this will enable IRIS to strengthen its leading position in cloud software for UK SMEs and accountancy firms.” Duane Jackson, Founder and CEO of KashFlow added: “IRIS clearly understand the importance of the cloud and the benefits it can bring to small business owners. Being part of the wider IRIS Software Group not only gives us direct access to a significant section of the UK accountancy and SME sector but it also makes us part of a wider suite of cloud offerings. This will help us deliver on our vision of further automating and simplifying the process of running a small business, enabling entrepreneurs to cut through the red tape and get on with doing what they do best: winning clients and growing their businesses.
View gallery A Royal Mail Post Office is seen in London, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. British Business Secretary Vince Cable defended the government’s sale of a majority stake in Royal Mail on Wednesday, saying that more than 700,000 retail investors have sought shares in the initial public offering. The government would raise between 1.04 billion pounds and 1.72 billion pounds based on these figures.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) LONDON (AP) — Postal workers in Britain have voted overwhelmingly in favor of going on strike over issues linked to the privatizing of Royal Mail. The Communication Workers Union said Wednesday that 78 percent of its members who voted in a strike ballot backed a 24-hour walkout on Nov. 4. Turnout was 63 percent of the union’s 115,000 members. The strike vote comes despite government efforts to win the support of union members by giving them shares in the newly formed company. Workers fear that the company, which traces its history back 500 years, will trim staff numbers in an effort to modernize and maximize profits for shareholders. Labor Issues WASHINGTON (AP) Congress’ debt-and-spending breakthrough crystalized a political contradiction. Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) Zack Greinke came out shaky against the St. Louis Cardinals, getting in early trouble with the Dodgers’ season hanging in the balance. Associated Press Veteran character actor Ed Lauter dies at 74 after career that stretched across 5 decades ABC News ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Ndamukong Suh has been fined by the NFL. Associated Press PAKSE, Laos (AP) Rescuers in fishing boats pulled bodies from the muddy Mekong River on Thursday as officials in Laos ruled out finding survivors from a plane that crashed in stormy weather, killing 49 people from 11 countries.
IRIS Acquires KashFlow to Extend its Position as the UK’s Premier Cloud and Desktop Software Provider for Accountants and SMEs
The two people had phoned in the same name based on the sketches, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said during the BBC’s “Crimewatch” program, which aired an appeal Monday night for information about a man police want to track down. The man was seen carrying a child matching McCann’s description on the night she vanished in 2007 around the resort town of Praia da Luz in Portugal. Police hope for new leads in McCann case New evidence in McCann case The man is described as white, between 20 and 40 years old, with short brown hair and a medium build. He was seen carrying a blond child, who might have been in pajamas and who was estimated to be 3 to 4 years old, around the time Madeleine disappeared, police had said. The sketches are based on descriptions from separate witnesses, investigators said. Since the program aired, British police said they have received more than 300 phoned tips and 170 e-mailed ones. “We will now take the time to follow up these lines of enquiry,” Redwood said. Police target 38 ‘people of interest’ in Madeleine McCann’s ’07 disappearance The latest revelation is critical in reconstructing what exactly happened more than six years ago on the night of May 3, 2007,when McCann disappeared from her family’s villa while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. The girl was just days shy of her fourth birthday. Computer-generated sketch Computer-generated sketch Computer-generated sketch Neither her parents nor the detectives investigating her case have given up on one day finding the little girl from Leicestershire, England. “There may be an entirely innocent explanation of this man, but we need to establish who he is to assist with our inquiries,” Redwood said earlier. Additionally, investigators believe they have a better understanding of when Madeleine may have been abducted, Redwood added. “The timeline we have now established has given new significance to sightings and movements of people in and around Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.” John Walsh: Madeleine McCann could be alive Police announced in July that they have identified 38 “people of interest” in connection with the case. Twelve of them are UK nationals who police say they think were in Portugal at the time the girl went missing.